Unlike traditional camping – staying in a tent – traveling in an RV allows you to take most, if not all, the comforts of home with you!
However, it’s not quite the same as living in a ‘sticks and bricks’ homestead…
Here’s the top 10 things I’ve learned on this journey of ours…
- Travel lite – most RVs have weight restrictions, so taking everything you own is not an option! Travel lite by only taking those things you actually need! For example, instead of taking every pot and pan you own, only take the top 2-3 pieces you use on a daily basis! And clothes… clothes should be limited to the sevens rule… 7 shirts, 7 pants… you get the idea!
- Never rely solely on your GPS – Make sure you take an up-to-date map book with you. One of my favorites is the Rand McNally 2023 Road Atlas & National Park Guide. GPS is notorious for steering you down those ‘iffy’ roads that are not RV friendly! Using your map book will help keep you out of difficult places, and help you plan your route! Furthermore, while you formulate your plans, you may even find one or two places you didn’t think about exploring! However, if you don’t mind those major highways, I would still take along that up-to-date map book! I would suggest the Rand McNally 2022 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas. If the big rigs can get through, so can your RV!
- Always expect the unexpected – It never fails! Sometimes things can and will go wrong! You might take a wrong turn and wind up in downtown traffic, wondering just how you’re going to get your RV through tight turns! Or, perhaps the campground where you had a reservation was suddenly flooded and they are having to turn you away! Always plan for the unexpected, but don’t let those unforeseen mishaps discourage you from your travels!
- Learn how to fix things yourself – Let’s face it, things break, and the more you learn how to fix it yourself, the more money you’ll save in the bank!
- Travel no more than 5 hours a day – if you’re driving more than 5 hours in a day, not only do you miss those interesting places you might otherwise enjoy, you’re also too tired after setting up camp to enjoy the evening once you’ve stopped for the night. I’ve even adopted the habit of driving no more than 2-3 hours a day. This gives me the chance to check out the campground, create a healthy meal, relax and enjoy a nice campfire before bed.
- Don’t let your fuel tank go under half full! So, you’ve got a day of driving ahead! Make sure you stop to fill up your fuel tank when it hits the half empty mark. You never know how far it well be till the next gas station!
- Whenever possible, stop at a Loves, Pilots or other truck stops for fuel. You’ll find these places are easier to get in and out of, especially if you have a bigger RV. And, if you’re too tired to get to your next destination, it’s a great place to stop for some rest! Just please be courteous! Although we may have all day to get somewhere, truckers are working and do have a schedule they need to keep!
- Try and stay at one place at least 3-6 months. You save yourself from the wear and tear of having to pack up, drive, and set up camp every few days. Plus, staying longer at a campground allows you to get a better price for your site! You’ll have more time to do some serious site-seeing and you won’t miss out on those great photo opportunities and breathtaking views!
- Camping does not mean you have to live on hamburgers and hot dogs! Although there is nothing better than a hot dog or burger over the open flame, you are not relegated to live solely on these foods! A campfire is a great way to grill up some chicken and roast some tasty veggies! Have you tried grilled fruit?!? Yum!
- Waste not, want not! – We have learned that life on the road isn’t always a bed or roses! Daily, we make the trek to the dumpster, taking out the trash we create! It’s even worse when we boondock, because we use paper and plastic due to water being a precious commodity! Mom and I are learning to maximize our efforts to minimize our waste! Whenever possible – recycle, recycle, recycle!
Hope the lessons we’ve learned help you enjoy the open road!
Peace, love and safe travels!